City, businesses work to protect ground water
November 28, 2009
NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 28, 2009
Almost 95 percent of Issaquah businesses affected by regulations to protect city drinking water have complied with the requirements, city officials announced this week.
City Public Works Engineering staffers initiated the Critical Aquifer Recharge Area program to protect ground water last year. Ground water in the Lower Issaquah Valley Aquifer is a major source of city drinking water.
During the past year, businesses located within the recharge area have tracked hazardous materials and drafted management plans to handle hazardous materials.
Businesses are required to take the steps if they store or use more than 20 gallons of hazardous material. Public Works Engineering staffers worked with the businesses to meet the recharge area requirements. The city requires business owners to take several steps — from planning and prevention to mitigation — to prevent hazardous materials used at the businesses from entering surface and groundwater.
City facilities are also taking steps to meet the regulations. Learn more about the program here.
The city program to cut water pollution has prevented industrial chemicals, fryer grease and even the material dentists use to fill cavities from contaminating ground water.
The state Department of Ecology pays for a city Public Works Engineering Department employee to stop pollution at its source, or “source control.” Under the practice, city employees attempt to deal with pollutants at the source — before contaminants can enter and harm the environment.